Review of *The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur', ed. Elizabeth Perkins
Elizabeth Perkins' recent and long awaited monumental edition, The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur, is much more comprehensive than the "presentable book' Harpur despaired of. Its 971 pages include with the exception of some translations and his verse drama "Stalwart the Bushranger" all the verse she has been able to gather, most of it from the Harpur papers but with some fugitive pieces from various newspapers. Some of the verse is early and unpolished, some of it incomplete, some of it mere doggerel: and some of it the substantial bulk of it—is as 'final' as a life-time of reconsidering and reshaping and rewriting could make it. The best of Harpur is here, and much else besides, and now at last it has become possible to read him whole and to begin a true estimation of his capabilities as a poet.
Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.